Occurrence

Globally, the harvest mites are found in a narrow belt stretching from England in the west to China in the east. Its presence in Denmark is part of the species’ northernmost spreading.

In low heights
Lawns (especially in the shade), hedgerows, cultivated fields, as well as gardens are equally good places for the harvest mites. The larvae sit in the vegetation and in places that protrude a few centimeters in the landscape, waiting for a victim to come by.

Flocks of larvae
The larvae occur solitary as well as in groupings. Such larvae flocks gather on the underside of leaves, on fallen fruit or, late in the season, on dry twigs. It is an advantage for the larvae to stick together, so they end up on the same host animal. This provides better opportunities for the mites to find each other and mate once they are adults.

When?
The many larvae are most numerous and most troublesome in August. Smaller populations can be seen already in the middle of July and the last larvae disappear during September or October and when the first night frost sets in. In the period when the larvae are most numerous, they are most likely to be seen from 7 pm-9 pm.

Hosts
They mostly live on birds and mice. Their presence in the larger and rarer animals (humans, hedgehogs, dogs, etc.) is a result of a random choice of hosts and is not a part of the species’ normal life cycle.